Washington.- The Florida House and Senate have passed measures honoring Floridaʼs Cypriot Americans and, in the Senate, commending the people of Cyprus for their continued efforts in search of a just resolution to the Cyprus problem.
The Senate measure, S 2992, was adopted on March 28. The House resolution, H 9057, was adopted on March 29.
The measures praise the positive contributions of Cypriot Americans in Florida and across the United States in business, academia and other professions and note the United Statesʼ consistent support of Cyprus.
The Senate measure notes Cyprusʼs long history as a strategic partner of the United States, its critical role in the security of the eastern Mediterranean, and its alliance with the U.S. in the global war on terror. It commends Cyprus for the key role it played in the evacuation of more than 14,000 Americans from Lebanon last summer and hails Cyprus for being the first European Union Member State to join President Bushʼs Proliferation Security Initiative, an important step in the battle to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
“I was honored to sponsor the resolution expressing the Florida Senateʼs support of the reunification of Cyprus,” said Senator Mike Haridopolis, R-26th District. “The people of Cyprus deserve commendation for their hard work toward a just society and for their cooperation with the State of Florida and the United States of America.”
Senator Mike Fasano, R-11th District, said, “Cypriot Americans are an important part of the community I represent. I have nothing but the highest praise for the work they do and the contributions they make, not only to our great nation but to peace and security at the international level.”
“Cyprus is a staunch ally of the United States, and here at home, Cypriot Americans have made significant contributions to the Florida community,” said Rep. Ed Hooper, R-50th District, prime sponsor of the House resolution. “This resolution is a fitting recognition of their important role in the state of Florida and of Cyprus’s role as a reliable partner of the United States.”
“We recognize the importance that Cyprus plays in our global economy and its contributions to the security initiatives that are so important to our quality of life that we enjoy,” said Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-6th District. “We look forward to a continued healthy and positive relationship between our two countries.”
Cyprusʼs Ambassador to United States, Andreas Kakouris, who is traveling in Florida, said, “We thank the members of the Florida House and Senate for recognizing our common commitments to international security. Cyprus has a great many friends in Florida and we are very grateful for their continuing support of my governmentʼs efforts to reunify our island.”
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-9) who was hosting Ambassador Kakouris in his Tampa Bay area district on Saturday, said, ” I commend the Florida Legislature, of which I was a proud member for four terms, for recognizing the critical role the Republic of Cyprus commands on the world stage. Cypriot-Americans are outstanding citizens who contribute greatly to the success of the United States, as evidenced by our very own, Governor Charlie Crist. I look forward to working closely with His Excellency Ambassador Andreas Kakouris to carve out a solution that will reunify Cyprus and provide for a just, peaceful, and lasting settlement.”
The Congressman and Ambassador were expected to conduct a Forum & Dialogue at St. Petersburg College regarding U.S.-Cyprus Relations in the 21st Century. Area residents are encouraged to attend to share their views and learn about U.S.-Cyprus past, present and what the future holds.